Sobriety Stories

By Kersley Fitzgerald

On January 1st, a friend's Facebook post read, "Drunk" (and then went on to say he rarely drinks and has become a lightweight). On February 2nd, Sherlock of Sherlock went to a heroin den — to work on a case. Around the same time, Sherlock of Elementary said of the addict he sponsors, "He is no more in control of his addition than I am of mine," which, I think, is the first time he admitted he was not in control of his addiction.

And the same day Sherlock's Sherlock returned to heroin, the amazing actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of it.

A strange thing happened, then. I remember when River Phoenix died. And Heath Ledger, of course. But with PSH, I think it's the first time the majority of the messages started with, "What a tragic loss," and ended with, "If you struggle with addiction, get help!"

On February 10th, a friend wrote on Facebook, "Celebrating 17 years Sober." I like how she capitalized the "Sober." The day after Hoffman's death was Jamie Lee Curtis's 15th anniversary of sobriety.

In a few days, one of the girls in the trafficking restoration program I volunteer for will check herself into rehab.

This is a message for those who struggle with addiction with some measure of success: thank you. Thank you for going to rehab. And staying sober for a month and a year and twenty years. Thanks for being open and sharing your successes.

Thanks to Air1's Brenda Price, who may be the world's most adorable DJ and regularly talks about overcoming her addiction. Thanks to the packer we had in Hawaii who so proudly showed off his ten-year coin. Thanks to the associate pastor I worked with who stayed and found healing even when his sex addiction cost him his job.

Because a lot of us who don't struggle with the heavy stuff are nevertheless surrounded by those who are destroying themselves. And it can feel really hopeless. We don't know what it's like to itch for that drink or crave a hit so bad it hurts. But we do know what it's like to helplessly hope and pray for the pain to be taken away. Those who have more distance may wonder with antiseptic detachment why an addict doesn't just stop. Those of us who are in the muck can feel as hopeless as the addict.

Recovering addicts who tell their stories bring hope. Not just for other addicts, but for those who live with other addicts. Not necessarily that our addict will find release, but just knowing it's possible is a powerful encouragement.

If you are a recovering addict who is seeing success, share your story — we need to hear it. If you are still struggling, get help. Don't know where? Check out the links below.

Celebrate Recovery
Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Samson Society

Image credit: annrkiszt; Some rights reserved

TagsHardships  |  Personal-Relationships  |  Sin-Evil

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Published 2-13-14